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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

MODERN GERMAN   LITERATURE

mannsEnde (1925), HolderlwsEinkehr (1925), and Die Missgeschickten
(1909) he does his bit for the Kunstlernovelle. There is still more of
his own earnest self in his novel Huldreich Zwingli (1926), his tribute
to the Swiss reformer. His genial Rhineland humour comes out
in his novel Der Hauptmann von Kopenick (1930). The short stories
Die unterbrochene „Jheinfahrt (1913) and Anckemanns Tristan (1936)
have more invention.

There is no reason to think that modernity of outlook or of
vision is necessarily bound up with irregular form; there are in-
deed a group of poets - we may call them traditionalists or neo-
classicists or neo-Hellenists - who express the moods of today in
classically chiselled moulds (Rudolf Borchardt, Felix Braun, Josef
Leitgeb, Hans Leifhelm). But there are likely to be subtle modula-
tions of rhythm which reveal a new relation to nature (Wilhelm
Lehmann) or to social problems (F. G. Jiinger) or even to religion
(R. G. Binding, R. A. Schroder, Josef Weinheber).

RUDOLF GEORG BINDING (1867-1938) was born in Basel as the
son of a famous father, the professor of criminal law, Karl Binding.
He read law at Leipzig, and turned from this to medicine, again a
vain study; what made him, he says, was riding. He had been fond
of horses from boyhood; and he sings their praises in his Reifvor-
schrift fur eine Getiebte (1926): riding, he says in this prose poem,
disciplined and steeled him, taught him patience, the love of all
that is untamed. His love of sport comes out again and again in
his fiction: riding and swimming in Opfergang, fencing in Die
Waffenbruder. At forty there was a psychic crisis in his life; resi-
dence in Italy saved him. A visit to Greece put the finishing touch
to his transformation; here he realized that great art is timeless
and ever near to men, 'wahrhafte Gegenwdrtigkeif. The final phase
of his mental growth was the War, through which he served as
an officer of dragoons; his experiences he related in Aus dem Rriege
(1925). Binding's lyric verse (Tage, 192.4; Ausgewahlte undnew Ge-
dichte, 1930; Die Gedichte. Gesamtausgabe, 1937) is for the most part
uncompromisingly traditional; it gives distinguished expression
to a distinguished personality; but there is no marked note of
originality, though imitation - particularly in the War poems -
of contemporary experiments in rhythmic notation may give the
illusion of hyper-modernity. His War poems - collected in Stofy
und Tmmr (1922) - have the sad resignation and the manly forti-
tude that broods in the bent gaze of his post-War portraits. For